Flawed viewing

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If ROBERT Kelly (letters, 7 April) thinks that all you need to know about the Second World War can be gleaned from television shows such as Band of Brothers and The Pacific, then God help what passes for lateral thought in this country.

Exciting and good TV, yes, but flawed. Band Of Brothers had cowardly Private Albert Blyth dying a lingering death after being shot soon after D-Day when in reality he went on to fight in the Korean War six years later.

The now infamous shooting of German prisoners by Lieutenant Ronald Speirs after giving them cigarettes may have been a watershed moment for US viewers, being forced to come to terms with the idea that their war heroes happily committed atrocities and this was more than just a Vietnam thing. The truth is that Edinburgh-born Speirs was notorious for shooting his own troops in the field of battle for disobeying orders – an idea borrowed from the officers of the Waffen SS to maintain discipline under fire. During the making of both shows, veterans complained that if they raised too many objections to the scripts, then they were frozen out thereafter. Never confuse what is made for entertainment for that which is made to record history.

Mark Boyle

Linn Park Gardens

Johnstone, Renfrewshire